Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1

 

The institution demonstrates that each educational program for which academic credit is awarded is approved by the faculty and the administration. (Academic Program Approval)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

Faculty members at Vernon College work in conjunction with the Academic Council to develop new courses and degrees and to evaluate the quality and relevance of current courses, programs, and disciplines. The administration at the College is involved in curriculum development and review primarily through the Academic Council. The Board of Trustees at Vernon College is involved in approving all new programs, the number and types of degrees offered by the College, the number and nature of the divisions at the College, and the extent to which the College offers off-campus programs.

 

The Dean of Instructional Services for the College is responsible for program coordination as well as curriculum development and review. Five Division Chairs comprise the instructional leadership team reporting directly to the Dean of Instructional Services. Each Division Chair heads one of the major instructional divisions: Behavioral and Social Science, Mathematics and Science, Communications, Information Industrial Technology, and Career and Technology Education. Division Chairs are assisted by coordinators or directors in the areas of Developmental Studies, Allied Health, and Distance Learning.

 

The Curricula Review Process excerpted from the Vernon College Employee Handbook illustrates that the College has adopted a program development and approval process that is led by the faculty and administration and that aligns with the policy and procedures required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

 

Workforce program and curriculum review/change is initiated through a Program Advisory Committee along with academically/experientially qualified full-time faculty. Academic program and curriculum review/change is primarily initiated by academically qualified full-time faculty. All curriculum changes are channeled through the Division Chairs and the Dean of Instructional Services. All program and curriculum changes are presented to the Academic Council and the College President for approval. The Academic Council oversees the addition, review, and evaluation of curricula. Members of this council include the Dean of Instructional Services, the Associate Dean of Career and Technology Education, representatives from the Admissions/Registrarís Office, a counselor, a librarian, Division Chairs, Director of Continuing Education, Faculty Senate representatives, Director of Institutional Research, Director of Distance Learning, Assistant to the Dean of Instructional Services, and select faculty members. If a new program is being considered, it is developed only after a need has been demonstrated and financial resources secured. If an instructional program is discontinued at Vernon College, it is done in a way that will not harm studentsí transfer requirements and graduation needs. Any new workforce education program must be approved by an advisory committee, the Academic Council, the College President, Board of Trustees, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) prior to implementation. Except for the use of advisory committees, the same review is required for transfer degrees. This review ensures that curricula are directly related to the mission statement of the college. This approval process may also involve required or voluntary external agency approval. The workforce education programs follow the curriculum development process as published in Guidelines for Instructional Programs in Workforce Education and in the Workforce Education Course Manual. Academic transfer degrees must include the Texas core curriculum requirements, and courses chosen from the Academic Course Guide Manual and the Common Course Numbering System.

 

Documentation

 

1.    Curricula Review Process, Vernon College Employee Handbook

2.    Program Advisory Committee, Vernon College Employee Handbook

3.    Example - Pharmacy Tech program and curriculum change, November 20, 2006 Academic Council Minutes

4.    Board of Trustees approval of Pharmacy Tech program